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Githuku Mungai, the high priest of error corrections is back

Detecting and correcting errors is critical because, over time, errors impact negatively on the credibility of a newspaper.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

A few months ago, the NMG Public Editor announced my retirement from pointing errors in the written press.

The article labeled me “the high priest of error corrections”. I felt flattered but welcomed the honour.

It seems this thing is a real bug; I find it hard to stay away.

I’m back!

—Githuku Mungai


Wole Soyinka said: “A tiger does not proclaim his tigritude, he pounces”. But Columnist Ndiritu Muriithi uses the word “tigeritude”.

In his column, he writes: “A tiger needs not announce its tigeritude” (‘Sh382bn in new taxes coming, beware of smokescreens’, Saturday Nation, Jan. 20, 2024)

—Githuku Mungai


Fidelis Githinji, a teacher and a contributor to the JuniorSpot on Mondays, recently wrote some words from a Gikuyu song based on fables.

She had a Gikuyu word starting with “d”. That does not happen in Gikuyu. The “d” has to be preceded by “n”, always. She also had the word “egushiarithio” (to midwife). We do not have an “s” in Gikuyu. The word ought to be “eguciarithio”.

—Githuku Mungai


After the stabbing of Wahu Mwangi to death, the Nation, in different articles, referred to her as either Starlet Wahu or Scarlet Wahu.

It appears Scarlet was her baptism name. One of the meanings of Scarlet from ChatGPT is a bright red colour with a slightly orange tint.

“It is often associated with passion, love, and intensity.” Starlet means a young, aspiring actress in the early stages of her career.

—Githuku Mungai


August House and name of the month

I’ve noticed in an article written by Nation reporter David Mwere, august House is capitalised as August House. He repeats the capitalisation three times.

I think August refers to the month after July, but when the word is used to refer to Parliament or any other hallowed institution, the word shouldn’t be capitalised.

—Jeff Wachira


The term ‘public interest’ is overused

The term public interest is a common phrase. I’ve come across it umpteen times in our dailies.

I’ve been taking it lightly because of its overuse. Personally, I define it as something that interests the public. If it doesn’t, then it stops to be public interest.

Just as you’ve said, the interests change with time (Journalists swear by it but what is this thing we call ‘public interest’? Daily Nation, Jan. 19, 2024).

But from the way the term is being used and interpreted, I see it's going to get new meaning in the future. The more we use it the more we give it different meaning. Otherwise, it was such a nice piece. I never knew the term would give birth to a whole piece.

—Wafula Meshack, Rongo University